“So grateful” - four Islamic schools win a last-minute reprieve for their efforts to tackle management failures
Mar 3, 2016 | News
Four Islamic schools threatened with closure over management failures have won a reprieve from the Federal Government.
The Islamic colleges of Brisbane, South Australia and Melbourne and Perth’s Langford Islamic College were threatened with a loss of commonwealth funding following an audit last year which revealed “serious” governance and financial issues.
Their sister colleges, Malek Fahd in Sydney and Canberra Islamic College, face imminent closure after education minister Simon Birmingham announced their failure to address concerns raised in the November audit.
But a decision by Senator Birmingham yesterday will allow the four schools to continue to receive federal funds under a probationary arrangement - with a final decision on their future to be announced on 11th April.
“These schools have cooperated with the work of the department,” he said.
“They have been responsive to it and they have engaged in an independent manner and have promised to make meaningful changes to the way in which they operate and to their financial accountability.
“So, I am hopeful that they will follow through on the promises and the commitments that they’re made.”
The future of the Australian Federation of Islamic Council-run schools is far from secure, with those in Adelaide and Brisbane subject to state education department and police investigations.
Acting principal of the Islamic College of South Australia, Lynda MacLeod said she was “so grateful” the Government had acknowledged the college’s efforts to address concerns.
"I've read the letter from the Department of Education and I'm absolutely confident that everything that's required of the college we've either put into place, are putting into place or will be capable of putting into place," she said.
The low-fee independent schools are heavily reliant on federal and state funding, with all six receiving between 75 and 90 per cent of their funding from government sources.